Porsche has unveiled the 99X challenger that it will field for it’s first season in the Formula E electric single-seater championship.
The firm quit endurance racing at the end of 2017 to focus on preparing for a switch to Formula E, starting with the upcoming 2019/2020 season. Porsche regulars Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer will drive the machine.
All Formula E teams are required to use the ‘Gen 2’ standard spec chassis and batteries, but they have freedom to develop their own powertrains. While Porsche hasn’t given full details of its powertrain, it says the system powering the 99X has been developed using the expertise it built up running the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 919 Hybrid LMP1 sports car.
The Porsche system uses 800-volt technology, which is similar to the upcoming Taycan road car, and drives a permanent synchronous motor.
Porsche team boss Carlo Wiggers was cautious about the firm’s chances in its first season, saying “there’s no other manufacturer with so little experience in Formula E. We just want to be competitive, that’s the truth.”
The team will be known as the Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E team. Porsche says the 99X nomenclature keeps the three-digit format it has used for all of its racing cars and two-door sports cars. It chose to use 9 twice “to re-emphasis the importance of the Formula E project to Porsche”, while the X “stands for the forward-looking approach and prototype racing.”
Wiggers also noted that had chosen for its works team to race in Formula E over sports cars, the marque remained committed to supporting its traditional GT racing programmes.